High Paying Psychology Jobs

Dec 19, 2017

Psychology spans many specialties and subfields, and prospective psychology professionals will find there are many career options that pay well. Discover the key job duties, educational requirements, and median annual salaries for top-paying psychology careers.

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High-Paying Career Options in Psychology

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the 2016 median annual salary for all psychologists as $75,230. Within the field of psychology, however, there are various positions with salaries that exceed this figure. Read on to learn more about five high-paying psychology jobs.

Job Title Median Salary Job Growth (2016-2026)**
Engineering Psychologist $81,672 (human factors engineers)* 9% (psychologists, all other)
Industrial-Organizational Psychologist $82,760 (2016)** 6%
Neuropsychologist $90,135 (2017)* 14% (clinical, counseling & school psychologists)
Social Psychologist $95,710 (psychologists, all other, 2016)** 9% (psychologists, all other)
Psychiatrist $194,740 (2016)** 13%

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Information for High-Paying Psychology Jobs

Engineering Pyschologist

Engineering psychologists specialize in the study of how people interact with products and technologies, focusing on how to enhance functionality, consumer enjoyment, and safety. In addition to consumer equipment, engineering psychologists can also assist in the development of medical devices and surgical rooms. These psychologists can obtain entry-level jobs with a master's degree; however, a doctoral degree will offer individuals in the field better earning opportunities.

Salary data for the specific career title is sparse, although Payscale.com reports a median annual salary of $81,672 for human factors engineers, which is over $6,000 a year more than the national median for all psychologists as reported by the BLS.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

A career as an industrial-organizational psychologist offers a median annual salary of $82,760, over $7,500 above the national median for all psychologists. These psychologists specialize in utilizing their knowledge and experience to enhance organizational work environments. Specific areas of study can include various management styles and employee morale. Another primary duty of industrial-organizational psychologists is collaborating with organizational management and human resources personnel, such as training or development managers, on issues such as candidate screening. These psychologists will need a master's degree and a state license.

Neuropsychologist

Individuals interested in a high-paying psychology job could consider working as a neuropsychologist: these professionals earn a median salary almost $15,000 higher than the national median salary for all psychologists. Neuropsychologists focus on the correlation between the human brain and behavior. They may work with patients who have central nervous system injuries or those suffering from conditions like Parkinson's disease. Job responsibilities for neuropsychologists can include evaluating patients, administering written tests, and providing necessary services to patients. This career requires a doctoral degree in counseling or clinical psychology and state licensure, with some positions requiring a postdoctoral fellowship.

Social Psychologist

Social psychologists combine the study of human behavior and society with psychological concepts like personality and relationships. They generally focus on evaluating and analyzing human behavior with the goal of improving relationships and social systems. Social psychologists may work for a variety of organizations, including nonprofit organizations, government organizations, and private companies. Job duties for social psychologists may include creating and administering assessments and utilizing statistical information for data analysis. These professionals will need a doctoral degree. Specific salary data for this specialized position is not available, though it falls into the 'psychologists, all other' group in the BLS, pointing to median earnings in the ball park of $95,710 per year.

Psychiatrist

A career as a psychiatrist is perhaps the highest paid position in the broader field of psychology, with median annual earnings reaching $194,740. Psychiatrists specialize in diagnosing and treating emotional, mental, and behavioral issues and disorders. Job duties for psychiatrists include administering diagnostic tests and evaluating the results, providing counseling services to patients, prescribing medications, and working with personnel like social workers to streamline patient care. Psychiatrists must earn a medical doctor (MD) and complete a residency in psychiatry.

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